High street hit by big brand closures

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IT has been a tough start of the year for Bury St Edmunds’ high street with a number of businesses going into administration.

Hawkins Bizarre, on Cornhill, and Barratts Priceless Shoes, in the Buttermarket, have both closed for trading.

Commenting on Friday, Peter Saville, joint administrator with Zolfo Cooper which is handling the Hawkins Bizarre administration, said: “Despite today’s regrettable decision regarding the additional store closures and redundancies, we remain hopeful of achieving a sale of the underlying business.”

Andrew Denny, chairman of Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce, said until recently Bury had been faring well in the tough economic times but emphasised the town was not recession proof.

He said: “It is a very worrying trend. There are a number of retailers that I know are not far off having to close.

“It is part of the national trend that until recently Bury had been fairly strong in comparison.

“There are a lot of businesses in Bury that haven’t been far off closing and it doesn’t take much to put them over the edge.”

This week, outdoor leisure company Blacks also went into administration but it was later bought by JD Sports for £20 million.

A spokeswoman for JD Sports said it was too early to say what would happen to the Blacks store in Bury.